Too much to do yesterday with both boys at home and too achy to blog in the evening, so Movie Monday is a day late this week. I didn't want to skip it, though, because we watched a lot of movies last week!
My oldest son is home from college in a major crash. Unfortunately, it is likely that he has mono (still waiting for the blood test results), so this could last a while. He had a very rough week and was understandably upset over having to leave school and all that he's missing, so we watched a LOT of TV and movies together to cheer him up. With two teen sons at home and my husband, we watched a lot of action movies in particular (though hang in for the last and best one below if you're not a fan of action). Although they were all good movies and interesting, I have seen enough fighting, shooting, and blood to last me a lifetime this week! Anyone want to join me in a chick flick? Please?
Friday night, we watched Parker, a crime caper movie starring Jason Statham (who we loved in The Italian Job) as a criminal with a conscience named Parker. He will only steal from those who can afford it and never kills an innocent person. Yes, high standards, indeed! Nick Nolte stars as an old thief (and father of Parker's girlfriend) who sets Parker up with a crew for a major heist at the Ohio State Fair. Parker makes his rules clear to the crew, but something goes wrong, and an innocent bystander dies. The crew fights afterward over the outcome and how to split the take, and the four men leave Parker for dead by the side of the road. Parker is not, of course, dead, and makes it his goal to get revenge on the four remaining crew members. He moves to West Palm Beach where they are busy planning their next heist, and enlists the help of novice real estate agent Leslie, played by Jennifer Lopez. The plot is great and the acting is good, but be warned that this is a very violent movie! Lots of guns, knives, and blood and lots of f-words.
Along similar lines, the next night we watched Olympus Has Fallen, another movie with a great cast, intriguing plot, and lots of violence. Aaron Eckhart plays the President of the US, Ashley Judd is the First Lady, and Gerard Butler plays a Secret Service Agent who used to protect the first family but was moved to a desk job. Terrorists take over the White House and take the President and several from his cabinet hostage. Morgan Freeman plays the Speaker of the House, who has to take charge with so many of the leaders kidnapped. As you can see, this is an all-star cast, and they all do a magnificent job with this tense thriller. The details of the terrorist attack, surrounding politics, and possible solutions are absolutely fascinating, prompting lots of thoughts of What If. But, like Parker, this is a very violent movie, with lots of guns and lots of blood. The terrorists are ruthless and leave a lot of civilians and White House staff dead on their way to capture the President. So, it's an excellent movie, but don't say I didn't warn you, if you don't like violence or can't handle movie tension.
Sunday night, we browsed through the free movies on Amazon and ended up watching Equilibrium, a dystopian sci fi thriller that...guess what? Yup, it turned out to be very violent. Less blood this time but lots of guns and shooting. In this bleak future after World War 3, a frightening leader has ensured ongoing peace by outlawing emotion. Citizens are required to inject themselves with a pharmaceutical cocktail every day that suppresses all emotion. In addition, anything that might cause someone to feel something - art, music, books, and apparently most colors other than gray - have also been outlawed. Christian Bale stars as Preston, a Grammaton, one of the elite police force who seek out and destroy contraband and "Sense Offenders" (his partner is played by Taye Diggs). One day, Preston drops his dose of meds and gets a glimpse of what he's been missing. The plot is unique and engrossing, but again, skip this one if you don't like violence.
And finally, last night, we watched a completely peaceful movie without a single gunshot or drop of blood! Another freebie on Amazon Prime, Robot & Frank is a movie I've been wanting to see for a long time, and all four of us enjoyed it immensely. Frank, played fabulously by Frank Langella, is a retired cat burglar struggling with the beginnings of dementia in the near future. He lives on his own in a small house in rural New York state. His son comes to visit once a week, grudgingly, and his daughter is always calling from exotic places to say hello, but otherwise, he is on his own. When he sees that his Dad's memory is getting worse, his son brings Frank a robot caretaker to watch over his health and keep him safe. Resistant at first, Frank comes to see the robot as a friend, and finds a new purpose in his life in teaching his new friend his burglary skills. Also starring Susan Sarandon, Liv Tyler, and James Marsden, this movie is wonderful - warm, tender, and funny. And, I so want my own robot now! They could revolutionize life for the chronically ill.